“Catching fire” in emotions, not words

office-art-visceral-1409(from Gaping Void)

I’ve been thinking a lot about messaging lately.  In regards to the church, engagement in the world, public education, both in places I have gravitated to and left of late.  What grabs me and won’t let me go?  What ideas and wonderments allow me to “catch fire” and lose myself for hours in their messages and encounters?  Most often, it is the stories of creative people.  Innovation, and how it happens – in the Church, in education, with others in community.

I’m in a blessed new edge of late.  I’ve left my teaching profession – and this fall will be the first in many years that I do not return to school when the calendar turns to September.  I am working part-time in a job I love, but that has specific boundaries and tangible requirements and will most likely not grow into more in the way it presently employs me (which is good!).  I am (I hope) a good spouse and parent, with all the efforts hope and joy that come with that vocation.

But starting soon, by design, I will hold a year of uncertainties.  An ability to mold my engagements more fully, to hear what quietly calls to me, to engage with that which set me on fire for more.  It’s never a thought out plan.  A few years ago this feeling of being nudged to attend to more led me to fantastic graduate work – not specifically to complete a degree (although I did) but to engage in each class mind fully and hopefully with fellow creatives.  That led me to teaching gigs that fed me again, in new ways and opportunities.  My recent engagement with the Quaker church has been a constant form of creative encounter and newness, while I struggle to learn both time honored traditions and how I might grow more fully into the Holy work of creation in beloved community.

I’m excited.  I have noticed my sleep patterns change, my interests peak, and my need to read more and listen more and engage has grown tenfold.  There is a difficulty in this sometimes – it’s not yet a “thing” in a specific form or path.  It may not be for a while.  But I believe that listening to that inner teacher, that voice of compassion and vocation, is leading me to new places.  Not end goals, but constant experiences in the now.  And for me, learning to be patient, to explore and wonder, to feel the emotions when they come as a gift is a difficult and valuable lesson.

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